DAYTON, Ohio—Justice Thompson lined a 3-2 pitch into center field to drive in the winning run with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Dayton Dragons to a 10-9 walk-off victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Dragons scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth after West Michigan had broken a 7-7 tie with two in the top of the ninth.
A crowd of 8,370 was in attendance at Day Air Ballpark in the heart of the Water Street District.
The win was the Dragons seventh in their last eight games. They established a season-high for runs in a game in a contest that featured seven home runs and 14 extra base hits between the two teams. Dayton improved to 10-4 on the season with the victory.
Game Recap: The Dragons scored six runs over the first three innings to build a 6-4 lead. They scored two in the first, three in the second, and one in the third. Elly De La Cruz connected on a two-run home run in the second, his second homer of the year, and Alex McGarry hit a long solo home run in the third measured at an estimated 431 feet. It was the fifth homer of the year for McGarry. Garrett Wolforth added another home run for Dayton in the fifth, his second of the season, as the Dragons extended their lead to 7-4.
West Michigan batted back with three runs in the sixth to tie the game, and they took the lead in the top of the ninth on a two-run home run by Colt Keith to take a 9-7 advantage to the bottom of the ninth inning.
Ashton Creal opened the Dayton half of the ninth with a double to left field, and Jose Torres singled to right to move Creal to third. De La Cruz grounded out to the pitcher, moving Torres to second. A wild pitch brought Creal in to make it 9-8 and advanced Torres to third, and Allan Cerda walked. McGarry followed with a hit to right field to drive in Torres to tie the game, and Cerda raced around to third. After pinch hitter Nick Quintana struck out, Wolforth was given an intentional walk to load the bases. Thompson ran the count full before lining a shot past the shortstop into left-center field to drive in Cerda and end the game.
The Dragons finished with nine hits, including a season-high six extra base hits. Thompson, Torres, and McGarry each had two hits.
Notes: The Dragons improved their record in one-run games to 6-0. They are 8-0 in games decided by two runs or less…The Dragons are 4-1 in the series with West Michigan that concludes on Sunday.
Up Next: The Dragons (10-4) wrap up the homestand when they host West Michigan (7-7) on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. at Day Air Ballpark. Cincinnati Reds all-star pitcher Luis Castillo is expected to start for the Dragons on an MLB rehab assignment against West Michigan’s Wilmer Flores (0-0, 0.00).
On the Air: Saturday and Sunday’s game will be televised in the Miami Valley on Dayton’s CW (Channel 26; Spectrum Cable channels 13 and 1013).